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Survey to inform rural economy evidence

An online survey has been launched to give people the chance to shape evidence to a House of Lords inquiry into the rural economy.

The Countryside Alliance said it wanted to ensure that the rural voice was heard on the issues that matter to them as it prepared evidence to the inquiry.

The special House of Lords Select Committee is examining all aspects of the rural economy and will make recommendations to the government early next year.

Committee chairman Lord Foster of Bath has stated that “the voices of those living in rural communities are vital to this inquiry”.

It is now calling for written evidence from those interested in the issue amd has identified several areas that it wants to examine:

  • Transport in rural areas
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Support for local amenities such as shops and pubs
  • Rural housing and planning policy
  • Rural businesses, business investment and new rural industries
  • Employment and skills
  • Demographic challenges
  • Rural deprivation and isolation

The alliance said people in rural areas were resilient and innovative but the rural economy still suffered from a range of problems.

It added: “If any of these issues affect you and your community then make sure you complete the survey.”

This is believed to be the first time that a parliamentary inquiry has considered such a broad range of rural issues at one time.

Following the inquiry, the committee will make recommendations to the government in an effort to help to improve the lives of those who live and work in the countryside.

The online survey can be completed here.

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